I stand before Adam, my body shifting and changing.
He is staring at me, no doubt trying to figure out what happened while he was blacked out, as well as what is going on with me.
I glance down at my changed body. Changed as in the same as it used to be before the wish. Before the wish to be human.
Why do I feel a little disappointed in becoming a vampire again? Is there something wrong with me? Am I blind? Being a vampire, being one of the strongest creatures on the planet is the best thing anyone could ask for. Am I missing be a human already? Being mortal?
I can’t be.
Adam stands shakily, his eyes still partially dark. He looks me over and bares his teeth.
Oh yeah, he really remembers me now.
“I can’t believe—ugh!” He punches a hole in the stone, his hand popping as the bones break. They make a sickening sound as they repair themselves. “You knew all along what you did, didn’t you?”
The guilt hits me like a truck, but I don’t let it show. I can’t. Now I can protect myself against him. Now I have a fair chance.
But my heart is breaking with every second I stand here staring at him.
Tears well up in his eyes as the memory returns to his mind and the anger fills every inch of him. I have to do something for him... he’s done so much for me. I have to repay him. I owe him.
But I can’t do anything. Not now that I’m a vampire again.
But I have to. I just have to.
I don’t know if it’s the human side coming out of me, but I walk up to him cautiously and gently touch his shoulder.
“Adam, I’m so s—”
His hand closes around my throat faster than I can blink, and lifts me, his eyes on fire and glaring into mine.
“Don’t you dare say you’re sorry,” he growls through his clenched teeth. “You’re not. You knew all along what you did to me, to my brother, and yet you had the audacity to leave me wondering and guessing about where I knew you from. Why didn’t you just leave?”
“You—you would have just found me and—” I choke out as he squeezes tighter. I move my hands all around his, looking for a place to shove my fingers into to pull it away.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have saved you. Shouldn’t have saved you like when you drank my little brother dry and didn’t even give him a chance,” he snarls, tears, hot, stinging tears filling the bottom of his eyes. “Why did you do it, Vanessa?”
“Adam,” I choke as he crushes my throat some more. “Adam, I didn’t know... I was thirsty and—and—” I gasp.
I don’t need as much air as a human does, but I still need some to live. Vampire’s body organs don’t shut down completely, so we still need things like air, even though it’s on a much smaller scale.
The one thing Adam is depriving me of at the moment.
He tightens his grip, and I start to feel lightheaded.
“You didn’t know, and yet you still preyed on a child. A child, Vanessa! Do you know how sick that is?” he shouts, lifting me higher into the air.
I could get out of this situation. I could. I’ve found somewhere to slip my hand, to free my neck... But I can’t. I could push him, kick him, something... I know I could...
But I can’t.
I’ve gone soft.
“I’m... I’m—sorry,” I wheeze.
With one last squeeze, he shoves me to the side. I hit the ground hard, rocks underneath me parting for my arrival. I sputter and swallow the blood that had pooled in my mouth from the neck crushing.
Adam stands with his head down and his hands balled tightly at his sides.
“Vanessa...” he says shakily, sadly.
He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t kill me.
“Adam,” I start to explain. “I’m not the same person I was when—” My voice cuts off as my neck heals itself.
“Maybe not. But this is my wish. I swore I’d find you... I wanted to... I wanted you to pay...”
I sit up and look at him. He’s still standing in the same spot, his eyes staring down at his hands like they aren’t his, like someone had taken him over and used them against his will to do something he doesn’t approve of.
He looks up at me, a tear falling down his cheek and leaving a red streak on his white skin.
Vampire tears are not like normal tears; they have venom in them from our body, which scars our cheeks for a while after crying, and it hurts.
“So why can’t I do it?”
“The same reason why you couldn’t kill the monkey.”
The Ring Leader has suddenly appeared behind me, his smile broad and his fangs dripping with venom.
“You’re not a killer,” he says, continuing his thought.
The Ring Leader tosses his hat away, revealing his long, black, greasy hair. His sunglasses are off and his eyes are pitch black.
I stand up and crouch low in a defensive posture, ready to protect myself.
He might be a vampire, but he can’t fight the two of us.
Fear sweeps over me and my body starts to tremble. My legs become weak and I stumble to catch myself from falling.
The Ring Leader is at my side in an instant, pulling my arm behind my back and turning me around to face Adam. I feel my shoulder crack, and my arm screams for mercy. I cry out in pain.
Adam’s eyes flicker between my face and the Ring Leader’s, emotions I don’t understand crossing behind them as pain surges through me and blackens my vision. I can feel my body trying to heal itself, but it can’t, because the part it’s trying to heal is being shoved out of its place, making the pain even more intense.
“Now’s your chance, boy. Now is your chance to fulfill your wish, your promise.
Adam stands still, watching both of us cautiously, while I groan and wince as the Ring Leader pushes my arm up farther.
“Agh!” I cry as I feel a bone break.
“Do it boy!” He shoves me forward, my arm wrenching up my back even more.
Adam looks me in the eyes, his red irises on fire.
He’s turned invisible.
“Coward!” The Ring Leader chuckles to the invisible Adam. “I’ll just do it myself.”
I feel muscles and bones snapping in my arm as he jerks it up.
“Ahhh!” I scream at the top of my lungs.
The pain is so great, so, so grueling that I can’t breathe. I can’t see. I can’t think.
Suddenly, the pressure is released. The Ring Leader is thrown from me, and my arm falls limply at my side as I tumble to the ground, panting. My arm fixes itself, pain reverberating through every inch of it, and I feel it grow twice as strong. I turn around to see the Ring Leader pick himself off the floor with a smirk on his face.
“You’re weak,” he licks his lips as he looks around the room for the invisible Adam. “You need more blood. You can’t stop me from doing what I need to do.”
The Ring Leader snaps his black eyes to me, cockiness swirling around him.
“Why do you hate her, anyway?” I hear Adam’s voice bounce off the walls. “What did she ever do to you? It couldn’t just be that you thought she would take over your carnival and that she liked to think freely...”
The Ring Leader takes a step forward.
“She said no,” he twirls his staff in his hand with a smile spreading sickly across his face.
“No?” I ask, disgusted.
“She said no to turning.”
“Oh, thank God,” I say in relief, glad he wasn’t implying what I implied. “That’s why you’re angry?” I ask.
The Ring Leader’s fangs drip with venom as he gets closer to me.
“No one says no to the Ring Leader.”
“Ah, so it’s pride then?” I mock, my own ego getting in the way.
“There are consequences to disobeying me,” he hisses and continues to walk forward. I shuffle backwards and stand up. “The whip was only a taste of what I can do.”
He lunges for me and I plant my feet on the ground. I cross my arms in front of me, ready to absorb the blow and fight back.
He doesn’t get too far before he’s thrown off balance and to the ground by an invisible force. By Adam.
The Ring Leader gets back on his feet before my brain can catch up with what he’s doing, and he throws his hand forward. Adam appears and falls to the ground, his jaw out of socket. A popping sound makes its way to my ears as it resets itself.
“Are you protecting her now, Adam?” The Ring Leader asks, smashing his foot into Adam’s side. “From what I heard, you swore you’d kill her.”
I start to march over, but I’m suddenly struck by grief and guilt and I drop to my knees, shaking and fighting the emotions.
“Stop doing this!” I sob.
I try to fight it, to fight his powers, but I can’t. He’s too strong... but he’s thirsty.
It might give him some strength at the moment, but thirst makes you act irrationally.
And that makes him weak.
He kicks Adam again and I force myself onto my feet. The Ring Leader looks at me and the emotions intensify, my body shaking as tears fall down my cheeks, burning the flesh on my face and blurring my sight.
I’m able keep my balance, although my entire frame is quivering. I walk towards the Ring Leader, focusing all of my energy on pushing his powers away. Slowly, it starts to lessen and the tears stop falling.
I’m standing behind him.
“Leave him alone,” I threaten through gritted teeth, and place my hand on his shoulder to turn him around. I want him gone. I want him to leave. I want him to stop torturing us. I want him to be out of my presence.
I stare at the where spot he was just standing.
Did I do that?
Adam looks at me with curiosity from the ground as his body heals, and he sits up.
“What did you do?”
“I...” I look at my hands in disbelief. The Ring Leader couldn’t have done that. Wouldn’t have. He was having too much fun, it seemed. “I don’t know...”
Adam stands up slowly, watching me carefully.
“I wanted him to go away and he... he did.”
Did I finally have a power? Can I make people disappear? If it was just that, he would still be in this room...
“Did you transport him or something?” Adam asks, taking one of my cold hands in his and turning it over, studying it.
I look up at Adam.
The door slams open. A body with green skin and innumerable blemishes takes up the entire doorway. He stands snarling at us, his ugly, pimpled lip curled up on one side, revealing his fuzzy, crooked yellow teeth. Boils cover his body, and he wears something like a skirt made of animal skin around his humongous thighs. A club sits in his left hand, dragging the ground.
“Where Master?” he grunts. “What you do with master?”
I look at Adam, whose eyes are hard. He drops my hand to turn toward the beast.
“It’s an ogre.”
The massive body breaks into the room with a battle cry after realizing the Ring Leader is missing, and Adam and I dodge the blow of his weapon. He keeps crying out “Where Master?” and swinging his club around like he could destroy us.
The door is wide open, due to the ogre’s lack of guarding it. I can easily escape.
So I do.
Hoping Adam follows behind me, I sprint down the hall, glad I have my vampire speed back. It’s three times as fast as an average human and only half the work.
I hear the ogre stampede down the long hallway lit with fairy magic.
I follow the stoned hallway until it leads me to a set of stairs, which I swiftly climb up. I burst out the front doors and—
I hiss and fall to the ground. My skin is burning, smoke billowing from it and the sun cracking it. I crawl towards the inside of the door, but before I can get there, the ogre trudges up to it and halts, smiling down at me.
“Bring Master back,” he grumbles.
The ogre brings his club up and I place my burning, bright red hand on my forearm. If I just wanted the Ring Leader gone and he disappeared, would I disappear if I wanted to too?
Take me away, I tell my hand.
The club comes down hard on my head, and I feel it crack, the shattering pain rushing through my body as my skull collapses into itself.
Take me home... I think as my vision goes black.